Busy times of year are all about us now. We flutter in and out of frantic activity, to settle for two minutes here and there, never a real pause. The sun is darkened by winter clouds, sickeningly sweet and sticky, like gray cotton candy that will soon melt with the lick of the giant ogre who made them. No time on the watch to speak of, all roaring ahead, barreling forward towards 2011 and beyond. Beauty, Love, Peace, tagging eagerly along, just catching up on his coattails, stammering a reckless “At your service” when he throws an impatient, superior look over his shoulder at the bothersome trio. Beauty tries to beguile, fluttering lashes up and down, a coy smile on a nervous face. Love, forever the hypnotist’s apprentice, hums a melodic symphony, reminiscent of rushing mountain rivers, bucolic meadows and melancholy walks down abandoned lanes. Peace settles a wise, gnarl-knuckled hand on his shoulder, a firm pressure demanding attention. They fix each other in the eye, a sizing up. Time takes an ernest bow, revering a worthy opponent, he turns on his heels nonetheless, and bundles off. Left behind, Beauty, Love and Peace sit to tea, nibbling dried dates in the uneasy breeze of his parting.